Iowa lawmakers are considering several bills aimed at enhancing gun rights, but critics say some of the measures are “pro-criminal” and will lead to more violence. According to the Des Moines Register
, multiple bills have been introduced this year, ranging from one that would amend the state constitution to effectively eliminate all gun regulations to another that would “permit a shoot-to-kill response by anyone who believes he’s being threatened with death or serious injury by another person.”
The Register reported Wednesday that advocates for changes to the state’s current gun laws believe most of the bills are necessary to protect the right to bear arms guaranteed under the Second Amendment.
But critics say many of the bills threaten public safety and if enacted into law would “encourage vigilante behavior.”
“It’s just a pro-criminal bill,” Polk County Attorney John Sarcone, told the Register, referring to the shoot-to-kill measure that would allow the use of deadly force against a perceived threat. “You know what it does? It will lead to an escalation of violence, not a reduction in violence. I think this bill will kick women and children back into the shadows.”
Some of the other bills under consideration would prohibit local city and county governments — and even the Iowa State Fair — from prohibiting the carrying of guns in public places or on government property, the Register noted.
Asked by the newspaper why gun legislation has suddenly become a hot item in the legislature, one Democrat opposed to many of the new proposals, blamed Republicans.
“The [Iowa] House is a 60-40 split,” said Rep. Rick Olson, referring to the number of Republicans and Democrats, respectively. “It wasn’t that way five years ago.”
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